SMI News - John Rollins Charity Golf Event A Huge Success!!
August 3, 2009
In June lots of generous PGA TOUR players graciously donated their time to join their colleague, John Rollins, in the first annual Shaka Smart (Virginia Commonwealth University Head Basketball Coach) — John Rollins Charity Golf Tournament in Richmond, Virginia.
In an effort to raise money for several deserving causes in his hometown, John (a VCU Hall of Fame golfer) joined with his Alma Mater VCU to generate nearly $100,000 in a recent golf event. The unique format featured an unprecedented array of marquee names from the PGA TOUR, Division I college basketball, and NASCAR. The three charities receiving net proceeds were: The John Rollins Foundation (to benefit children's education initiatives), The VCU Foundation (assisting athlete's scholarships) and the Hermie and Elliot Sadler Foundation (helping to fight autism).
On Sunday, June 28, PGA TOUR players flew in for a fabulous sponsor party and auction at Richmond International Raceway. Players included: Masters Champion Zach Johnson, Daniel Chopra, Tag Ridings, Chris DiMarco, Bob Heintz, Glen Day and Webb Simpson.
From Division I Basketball, just a few of the participants included former National Champion Tubby Smith and Clemson's Oliver Purnell. And from NASCAR, joining the local Sadler contingent and other NASCAR friends was the legendary Darrell Waltrip.
On Monday, June 29, all the celebrities gathered at the wonderful Salisbury Country Club to join with a sold-out field of amateur teams for golf. Following a lively and informative Q and A breakfast panel with the celebrities, all participants enjoyed a great day of golf.
The pictures accompanying this article convey the very large crowds which attended. A delightful aspect of the event was the involvement of the local First Tee Chapter. The Richmond First Tee was hosting about 45 of its top players from across the country. So those youngsters had the thrill of attending the golf clinic hosted by John and Richmond's own Robert Wrenn (past TOUR Champion and celebrated television announcer). All the TOUR players participated. The enthusiasm of the young attendees is clear from the pictures.
The event was a huge success, and should be the foundation for similar successful events for years to come.
The weekend was created and managed through the combined effort of John's management group, Sports Management International, and the VCU Department of Athletics. Another benefit of SMI's efforts was the involvement of the talented crew from PGA TOUR Productions which came to record all the festivities. As a result of such efforts, John hosted the popular "Inside the PGA TOUR" on Golf Channel, with the episode featuring the unique celebration.
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